Archive for November, 2012

Breakfast with Bob’s Red Mill

Friday, November 30th, 2012

So simple to make ...

A cold, blustery, rainy morning like this just screams for a hot, steamy bowl of Irish Oats.

I like mine with a bit of real maple syrup. You?

Just a little time to cook.

Steamy hot, with chunks of fresh fuji apple & real maple syrup. This will get me through the rain today!

Anyone for Grilled Cheese & Soup?

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

This rainy weather screams for a comfort food dinner …

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup, healthy style.

Whole wheat bread, light Swiss & cheddar cheeses, cooked in a little olive oil with just a hint of butter for flavor. TJs organic low sodium creamy tomato soup.

Mmm …

Recovery Ride Today

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I’m heading back to work tomorrow after 5 days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. I got to ride and eat wonderful food every day! I got a great training ride in yesterday, and a few moderate rides Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Today I’m wrapping up with a very mellow 90-minute roll on a few country roads and it is a glorious day for it! Alas, I do have chores to do to get ready for the busy week ahead, so … I must now get back to chores, oh, and eating salads.

Tagging Along with a Tandem

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Holy, moly! Those tandems … they get to going fast. I did my best to keep up and did a pretty decent job, until we hit the rollers on Lopes Road off Highway 80 between Fairfield and Martinez. We did about 68 miles total. What a fun day and I feel like I got some pretty good training in trying to keep up.

Aaah, the train ride home from Martinez … I feel like I earned that!

The Mustard Seed, Davis

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Original Thanksgiving plans included a trip to Sonoma County. Those plans changed unexpectedly and last minute. We learned late morning while we were on a ride that the meal was going to be served mid-afternoon. This just might be an important detail to let your guests who are traveling from out of town know ahead of time, but … all is well that ends well. So, we found ourselves without any of the traditional Thanksgiving makings and certainly did not want to head to the store, or out to find an open store, after riding, so on our way back we rolled through Downtown Davis to see who might be open.

I was a little cranky already, because the wind proved to be a bit much for me yesterday on the ride. I really don’t understand how sometimes it doesn’t look that windy, but it feels like I have my own personal gale force winds. I guess it’s just one of those mysteries. Luckily for me, I had a riding partner who stayed just far enough ahead of me to not hear me whining out loud, “This sucks! I am NOT having fun!” But not so far ahead that I felt alone out there in my very own personal tornado.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

After the ride, a quick check online showed that there was still a reservation available at 4pm at The Mustard Seed in Downtown Davis. The menu promised a “traditional” Thanksgiving menu. I must admit I had a few reservations of my own, because when it comes to “traditional” stuffing, I have rules. Besides, dinner at 4pm? Hmph.

I groused and grumbled around for a while in the afternoon and decided to take my frustration out on that nagging spot on the laundry room floor, rather than share my general unpleasantness with someone who was going to great lengths to be very sweet to me. The good news is that the laundry room floor looks great!

Traditional. Hmph. We’ll see.Wish I had just made the meal myself. Next year.

Table Setting

Candle Light

A Nice View







We arrived promptly and were seated right away at a lovely table by the window, overlooking the patio tables. The table setting was elegant and simple. Service was friendly and professional.

We enjoyed a Cazar Pinot Noir (2010), which went nicely with each course.

First Course:  Golden Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque. Normally, I am not much for bisques, because they tend to be too rich for me, but this one had a nice balance of savory and sweet and was not too rich.

Golden Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque

Clearly, we didn't like this at all.

 Second Course:  Pomegranates, Cinnamon Persimmons, Autumn Greens & Laura Chenel Goat Cheese. The pictures say it all … I could feel every last trace of grumpiness leave. This was the kind of salad I would make for myself. Fresh, crisp greens. Fruit. Cheese. Perfectly lightly dressed.

Autumn Greens, Persimmons, Pomegranate, Goat Cheese

Obviously, we didn't really like this one, either.

Main Course: Diestel Ranch Turkey Breast Roulade, Traditional Stuffing, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Country Gravy, & Cranberry Chutney.

With gravy ...

Gravy on the side ...

Looks promisingly traditional

I was surprised by the generous portions served. There were two large slices of turkey breast, and generous sides of roasted brussel sprouts, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry chutney. Everything tasted homemade from scratch, like I would make. Even the gravy was good; it was rich and flavorful without being too heavy.

The brussel sprouts were tender and perfectly roasted. Brussel sprouts are devine when they are cooked right, but they tend to have a bad reputation because so many people overcook them. My favorite way to prepare them is roasting, and these were cooked exactly how I like them cooked. I tried really hard to leave a couple for leftovers today, but that didn’t happen.

The stuffing … I hate to admit, but this was as good as my own. I grew up with this style of stuffing, and so very few people get this right (in my ever-so-humble opinion). So, any doubts about “traditional” were completely dissolved after just one bite. You’ve won me over.

Try as I might to finish, I just couldn't quite do it.

Cranberry chutney … I grew up hating cranberries because we always had to endure that slimy, jellied glop that slides out of a can. At some point my family discovered fresh cranberries, and we experimented a bit with a few recipes, and some came out pretty good, but I was never that big of a fan of cranberry relish or chutney. I have to say, though, that this chutney was wonderful. Tart, sweet, cooked just right.

Mashed potatoes … perfect.

And then there was pie …

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon-Cardamom Whipped Cream

It's a shame, but we didn't really like this, either. But just to be safe, we requested that the second one be packed up to take home so we could sample it again today, just to be sure.

So, after all that … I had better get ready for a big bike ride today!

Thanksgiving Dinner at The Mustard Seed

Friday, November 23rd, 2012
Thanksgiving 2012

Exceeded every expectation I had ... wow.

I wonder how many miles we’ll need to ride tomorrow to work this off?

More photos and details to follow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012
Where are you riding today?

Enjoy the beauty of the season!

Guest Blog: “A Happy Accident”

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

As the late great painter Bob Ross  liked to say:  “We don’t have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents.”

Two weeks ago, I happened to notice on our Davis Bike Club newsgroup that someone was selling a 58 cm Colnago Ace that he won at The Davis Hall of Bicycling Fame auction the weekend before.  He and his wife thought it would fit their son, but it didn’t.  All they wanted was their money back and the price was more than reasonable.

Here is the description of this frame from the Colnago website:

“The Ace offers head-turning style with spine-saving com­fort. Specifically designed to pro­vide an easy ride for Gran Fondo rid­ers and those who are just start­ing to take their cycling seri­ously the Ace pro­vides a more upright and com­fort­able posi­tion than our stan­dard geome­tries. The frame is a car­bon fibre mono­coque and fea­tures round main tubes and square chain­stays. The study of cross-sections, com­bined with a care­ful analy­sis of the lay­out of the car­bon fibres has made it pos­si­ble to max­imise com­fort with­out com­pro­mis­ing lat­eral stiff­ness for per­for­mance and rid­ing plea­sure. Available in eight slop­ing sizes and three colour variations.”

Now I really don’t need another road bike right now (and your point is … ?), but, given the modest price they were asking I at least had to check the geometry on the Colnago web site to see how well it would fit me.  Well this thing was going to be just spot on!  I quickly e-mailed the seller telling them to consider it sold and arranged to pick it up that afternoon.

After meeting with them and having a really great chat about the bike, I paid them and loaded it up without riding it.  For one it didn’t have pedals and I already knew the geometry was spot on for me anyway.

The next day after just a minor adjustment to the seat height, I hopped on for a little shakedown ride.  Immediately, however, something just didn’t seem right.  It felt way too small.  I couldn’t understand it—this thing should have fit as well as a custom made frame.  Not even a mile into the ride I knew this was just not going to work and was trying to figure out what I was going to do with this thing.  At first I thought I could strip the parts off, and sell the frame and fork on eBay, get most of my money back and keep the parts for an upcoming project.  But the more I thought about it, I realized that I just might be able to get this thing to fit Ms. Foodie.

Making a few minor adjustments for Ms. Foodie ...

After getting home and measuring the fit of her Trek 5000 I knew that there was more than a chance.  In fact, while measuring the Colnago frame it became clear to me that it had to be a 56 cm model and not a 58 cm—so that explains why it felt too small for me. After adjusting the seat height and swapping in a shorter stem I could see that the taller head tube and shorter top tube of the Colnago actually could make for a better fit for her than the Trek she has been riding.

All was confirmed the next day with a lovely Winters and back ride of about 35 miles.  Considering the great price we got on it, I do think it is worthy of a component upgrade in the not-too-distant future, (though the Campy Veloce 10 components do perform quite adequately), but for now still a great performing bike as is.

Autumn …

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

I love this time of year

There Are No Mistakes …

Monday, November 12th, 2012
Just lucky oopses …

Sweet bike ... sweet story behind it.